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A Thank You To Home And Away For Bringing Sally Home, And For Her Storyline

July 19, 2013

Lets face facts, Home and Away fans. Summer Bay just hasn’t been the same without Sally Fletcher, has it?

I am thrilled that she has returned, after five long years, this week in Australia (coming soon to the UK).

As soaps do, Home And Away promoted the reason for her return heavily- by keeping it a mystery.

It turns out Sally has returned because her daughter, Pippa, is sick. She has mitochondrial disease. 

So far, it looks like Sally has brought Pippa home to die.

Now, as a disabled viewer, I have always thought that Home and Away haven’t covered disability enough so far. They did a great job with Brendan Austin’s autism, and, well, that’s about it in my memory- apart from Dexter Walker’s brain injury, which he now seems to have recovered from. And believe me, readers, I’ve watched Home And Away for a long time.

So I’m very glad they’re finally covering disability again. I’m even more glad that they are doing so through a character as popular as Sally Fletcher’s daughter, Pippa.

I don’t know how the storyline will play out yet, but there is a twist. Leah is Pippa’s surrogate mother, so her son, VJ, may also be affected. Readers, I’m not sharing this just for gossip. The point is that Leah and VJ are also long-term, much-loved characters. If VJ is affected, maybe, just maybe, Summer Bay will finally have a long term disabled character.

I, for one, hope this happens, so that disabled viewers can finally feel represented and included in Summer Bay again.

One more thing- the storyline has been very well researched, with an article about the research on the Home And Away website which will hopefully raise even more awareness of the condition.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 19, 2013 3:35 am

    There is a website by the family of a girl with mitochondrial disease in the UK here. This girl was much more severely affected from a much earlier age, as she was already on a ventilator by the time she was a year old, and still is. I also remember reading an account by a woman in the States with a similar disease when I was doing research into Lynn Gilderdale’s life (the two interacted in the comments of a mutual friend’s blog); she had also been in a wheelchair from very early on and had been vent dependent for years (I think she was in her late 20s by the time she posted what I saw); she was also dependent on IV feeding as her intestinal tract had packed up. She was in constant pain and suffered regular respiratory crises. Still, she had been to college and had a long-term partner or husband, I can’t quite remember. Sadly, she died in late 2008 and had been suffering from dementia for some time. (The blog owner took all those entries down, but there’s a Wayback Machine copy of the entry with her obituary here.)

    So, if Pippa’s escaped all that so far and still running around, she’s doing pretty well.

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